Parents undergoing a painful legal separation will typically discuss divorce custody issues. Their legal advisors will also set out child custody guidelines. But what about after the divorce?
This article looks at things that children of divorce must have after a divorce, such as reassurance, predictability, consistency.
So much research has gone into the effects of divorce on children. Some have tried to say that if you do it right, divorce will not effect the kids.
I think that is a load of self serving crap.
Divorce will effect the kids, and effect them in ways that are painful. There is no way around it.
3 things kids must have after divorce
Kids need to be frequently reassured about many things after a divorce. In my experience as a marriage and family coach, here are the top three:
* In absolutely no way is the the divorce the fault of the kids.
* While Mom and Dad do not love each other any more, Mom and Dad will always love the kids.
* When in doubt, go back to the first two.
Kids do much better when they can count on certain events happening day to day, week to week, month to month. During the chaos of a divorce, kids need to be able to count on certain things, such as contact with each parent, where they will be living, etc.
A close cousin to predictability, consistency provides just as powerful a calming effect.
Kids always need parents to do what they say they are going to do. This is even a stronger need after dvorce.
Here is the way it works – the words about about the divorce not being their fault and Mom and Dad always loving them, are just that, words.
For kids, the way words become the reality is through predictably and consistently seeing the behavior match the words.
Visit ParentingYourTeenager.com for tips and tools for thriving during the teen years. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 5 day e-program on The Top 5 Things to Never Say to Your Teenager, from parenting coach and expert Jeff Herring .